Administration of research management records instruction

Instruction statement

To provide guidance on the appropriate administration of research management records commonly created, maintained and used by RMIT researchers and research support staff.

This Instruction applies to:

  • All records created, used or handled through the management of research related operations within the University, including contractual materials, grant or funding applications and ethics approval.
  • All types of research management records irrespective of format, e.g. physical / hardcopy paper documents, microfilm, images, electronic records or information maintained in databases or systems.

Exclusions

  • Research data: The material, data, and other evidence that comprise a research projects’ observations, findings, or outcomes, including primary material and analysed data. These include lab books, surveys, research management plan and specimens.
  • Research Records: Documents related to the carrying out of the research project, including records documenting the conducting and recording of experiments, the development of protocols and methodologies, the management of specimens, administrative arrangements for informal collaborative research with external parties, and signed participant information and consent forms.

For research data and research records requirements please see the Research data management policy and Procedure (in development).

Instruction steps and actions

1. OWNERSHIP

Ownership of research management records during and following a research project must be determined in accordance with section 2.3 of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, issued by the Australian Government National Health and Medical Research Council.

The Australian Research Council (ARC) states that ownership and management of Intellectual Property is the responsibility of the organisation which administers the ARC grant.

At RMIT, ownership of research management records and related intellectual property is assigned in line with RMIT’s Intellectual property policy and the relevant Intellectual Property laws.

Researchers and research support staff must be aware of and comply with these requirements.

Researchers and research support staff at RMIT campuses and offices outside of Australia and researchers carrying out research outside of Australia must be aware of and follow the relevant Intellectual Property law and other legislative requirements that apply outside of Australia.

2. STORAGE

Storage of research management records must be in accordance with the Records storage procedure.

3. RETENTION OF RESEARCH MANAGEMENT RECORDS

Research management records must be retained for AT LEAST the minimum periods detailed in the relevant retention schedules (see section 3.1) against the particular record type or category.

Section 4 provides an indicative guide for the minimum retention period of common research management records.

3.1. Source of Retention Information - Retention and Disposal Authorities

The information contained within section 4 of this instruction has been taken from the retention and disposal authorities issued by the Public Record Office Victoria (PROV):

a. PROS 07/01 – General Retention and Disposal Authority for Records of Common Administrative Functions

b. PROS 02/01 – General Retention and Disposal Authority for the Records for Higher and Further Education Institutions

Where the retention requirements listed within this schedule conflict with the Australian Code for Responsible Conduct of Research, or other official research requirements, the longer retention period must be observed.

If the records you have created are not included in these schedules, or if further advice or clarification is required, please contact the Information Management.

3.2. After the end of the minimum required retention period

3.2.1. Temporary records

Disposal of records after the retention period must be undertaken in accordance with the Records Retention and Disposal Procedure.

3.2.2. Permanent records

If Permanent records reach the end of their administrative use, they may be transferred to the University Archives. Application for transfer must be processed in accordance with the Transferring Records Procedure.

3.2.3. If research findings are challenged or if there is a complaint about research practice all relevant research management records must be retained until the matter is fully resolved.

4. GUIDE TO MINIMUM RETENTION PERIOD OF COMMON RESEARCH MANAGEMENT RECORDS

Note: Before enacting destruction or deletion against this schedule, refer to Section 3 above. For the most recent version of this retention guide please see the Research management records retention factsheet.

Record Type

Retention Period

Application for Patents

Permanent records. Retain indefinitely as part of State Archives. Transfer to University Archives once administrative use is concluded.

Application for Research Grants

2 years if unsuccessful
7 years if successful (following allocation of funds)

Consent forms (not involving clinical research)

5 years (once research is completed)

Clinical (research) Patient Files

15 years (after last attendance, or access on behalf of patient, provided patient has reached 25 years)

Ethics Approval Documents (human, animal, gene-modification)

7 years (after research is completed)

Grant Applications for Research

2 years (following allocation of funds)

Intellectual Property Agreement/Records

Permanent records. Retain indefinitely as part of State Archives. Transfer to University Archives once administrative use is concluded.

Patent applications/documents

Permanent records. Retain indefinitely as part of State Archives. Transfer to University Archives once administrative use is concluded.

Research Collaborative Agreements

Permanent records. Retain indefinitely as part of State Archives. Transfer to University Archives once administrative use is concluded.

Research (project) Reports

Permanent records. Retain indefinitely as part of State Archives. Transfer to University Archives once administrative use is concluded.

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